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Update - http://www.wfaa.com/news/crime/Sheriff-suspends-deputy-who-seized-bikers-camera-169543346.html


DALLAS — The Dallas County Sheriff's Department has issued a 38-day suspension to a deputy who stopped a motorcycle rider without cause and seized his helmet camera. The raw video of the Memorial Day weekend arrest by Deputy James Westbrook has been seen by almost half a million people around the world on YouTube.

The suspension — which Westbrook can appeal — amounts to almost two months off without pay.
“I think we should applaud the agency," said Dr. Robert Taylor, a criminal justice expert at the University of Texas at Dallas. "There were days in American law enforcement when nothing would've happened. And those weren't too far off."

However, Taylor said other departments would have surely fired Westbrook.
Westbrook made the arrest on Memorial Day weekend, when local law enforcement departments were on high alert. They wanted to prohibit reckless behavior by motorcycle riders on the anniversary of a biker event where they shut down North Central Expressway in Dallas and sprayed graffiti on the road.

During his arrest of biker Chris Moore, Westbrook said: "The reason you're being pulled over is because I'm gonna take your camera and we're gonna use it as evidence of in the crimes that have been committed by other bikers."

It is not illegal to wear a camera on your helmet. And experts say Westbrook’s reason did not constitute probable cause to make a traffic stop. But what bothers Taylor more than Westbrook's traffic stop is the deputy's verbal outbursts and how he slammed the squad car door on the biker's leg. "Those are the kinds of things that smack of all the ugly things we see in law enforcement,” Taylor said.

Hunter Biederman, Moore's lawyer, said Westbrook should have been fired. "I think they're sending the message that what he did was okay,” Biederman said. He is prepared to take this to trial, a rare step for a small offense. But Biederman said it was necessary after his client was arrested, mistreated, and then held in the Dallas County Jail. "I don't think this person should be out patrolling our streets. I don't that type of person should be stopping and arresting our citizens,” he said. Prior to responding to the biker situation, Westbrook had arrested a drunk driver. Eight of Westbrook's 38 suspension days were related to him leaving his prisoner at the jail without booking him in while he went out on the biker call.

Deputy Westbrook declined to comment on the case to News 8. He has not served the suspension yet and can still appeal
 

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I actually kind of feel bad for the cop. Yes, he should be punished, his actions were beyond how he should be acting. The problem I have is that was very likely a product of what he was told to do by his supperiers. I bet he was told to target someone with a camera so they would be able to get more convictions and they bred a feeling that he had the right to do anything he wanted to get these people off the street.

Again, I'm not defending the officier, I just think he is a product of the whole department. And the department is not going to be punished.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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I actually kind of feel bad for the cop. Yes, he should be punished, his actions were beyond how he should be acting. The problem I have is that was very likely a product of what he was told to do by his supperiers. I bet he was told to target someone with a camera so they would be able to get more convictions and they bred a feeling that he had the right to do anything he wanted to get these people off the street.

Again, I'm not defending the officier, I just think he is a product of the whole department. And the department is not going to be punished.

Just my 2 cents.
There's a right way and a wrong way to follow directions like that. The officer's demeanor, attitude, and knowledge of the law were all at fault, and evident in the video. Regardless of direction set by his superiors, he acted on that direction (if indeed it was given) in an unlawful manner of his own accord.

"I was just following order's" doesn't excuse war crimes, nor violating the constitution. It was his responsibility to know what he could and could not do with-in the bounds of the law, and act in a manner consistent with those laws. He chose not to.
 

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I agree with you. What i am saying is there is more to the problem which is not going to be addressed.
 

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No offense, I understand what you are saying, but you're ASSUMING there's more to the problem. There's no public evidence.

Their investigation may have revealed something like that, and it's being handled internally and not publicized. Or it showed nothing of the sort. Or a hundred other possibilities.

My point was, don't feel sorry for the officer. He built his own coffin, so to speak, and deserves the suspension, at minimum.
 

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I agree that the officer deserved to be punished, and feel 2+ months without pay is sufficient. However, I also feel that the biker wasn't totally innocent here. He was part of a quasi-organized mob that was not only breaking a variety of laws, but were also threatening the safety of other citizens, and disrupting the orderly flow of traffice, thereby infringing upon the rights of other drivers to safely and effectively utilize the public roads.
 

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I actually kind of feel bad for the cop. Yes, he should be punished, his actions were beyond how he should be acting. The problem I have is that was very likely a product of what he was told to do by his supperiers. I bet he was told to target someone with a camera so they would be able to get more convictions and they bred a feeling that he had the right to do anything he wanted to get these people off the street.

Again, I'm not defending the officier, I just think he is a product of the whole department. And the department is not going to be punished.

Just my 2 cents.
Agreed. It may have been direct or indirect. Either way the officer made the choice knowing what the law says he can do.

I agree that the officer deserved to be punished, and feel 2+ months without pay is sufficient. However, I also feel that the biker wasn't totally innocent here. He was part of a quasi-organized mob that was not only breaking a variety of laws, but were also threatening the safety of other citizens, and disrupting the orderly flow of traffice, thereby infringing upon the rights of other drivers to safely and effectively utilize the public roads.
Yep. There are more players in this scenario then just the officer and the biker.
 

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He was part of a quasi-organized mob that was not only breaking a variety of laws, but were also threatening the safety of other citizens, and disrupting the orderly flow of traffice, thereby infringing upon the rights of other drivers to safely and effectively utilize the public roads.
Were they? I know that was the fear based on what happened last year, but were they this year? I haven't seen anything saying it was a big issue this year. And was the group he was with part of it, if it was? You can't just generalize the situation.

You can't blame the rider for the actions of other. He wasn't breaking the law, he isn't responsible for other motorcyclists, and he had a 100% right to be on the road.
 

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Were they? I know that was the fear based on what happened last year, but were they this year? I haven't seen anything saying it was a big issue this year. And was the group he was with part of it, if it was? You can't just generalize the situation.

You can't blame the rider for the actions of other. He wasn't breaking the law, he isn't responsible for other motorcyclists, and he had a 100% right to be on the road.
I can and did generalize. I apologize to you if my logic and ability to see things for what they are offends your reactionary, irrational FTP attitude.
 

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I can and did generalize. I apologize to you if my logic and ability to see things for what they are offends your reactionary, irrational FTP attitude.
Sounds like your attitude is more FTP. You assume the worst with your "logic and ability to see things for what they are". All I've presented are facts, and pointed out your assumptions.

It was a good dialog until you - apparently - didn't have a counter argument and decided to attack and insult me.
 

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I apologize to you if my logic and ability to see things for what they are offends your reactionary, irrational FTP attitude.
Who could refuse such an abject apology? :icon_biggrin:

Westbrook made the arrest on Memorial Day weekend, when local law enforcement departments were on high alert. They wanted to prohibit reckless behavior by motorcycle riders on the anniversary of a biker event where they shut down North Central Expressway in Dallas and sprayed graffiti on the road.
I did not see the video. But as I read the O.P. the cop made the arrest on the anniversary of the event that disrupted traffic. :dontknow:
Did I get that wrong?
 

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We apparently saw the same videos. I just connected the dots. I'm assuming you saw the video from the same area on the same day where a bike gets pulled over, a pick-up truck pulls up next to it, and the girl riding pillion jumps off the bike and into the bed, before the pickup drives away? Yes, there was obviously nothing illegal, or even improper going on anywhere at anytime on that stretch of road that day.

I'm not in court, and don't have to follow the rules of evidence. I can generalize and fling blame about with impunity. From my perspective, you are the one seeing rampant disregard for the rule of law and public safety, and sticking your head in the sand.
 

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I agree that the officer deserved to be punished, and feel 2+ months without pay is sufficient. However, I also feel that the biker wasn't totally innocent here. He was part of a quasi-organized mob that was not only breaking a variety of laws, but were also threatening the safety of other citizens, and disrupting the orderly flow of traffice, thereby infringing upon the rights of other drivers to safely and effectively utilize the public roads.

I don't agree with this at all as far as the biker was concerned. Are you sure he was part of the "mob". He could have been any rider that happened to be out and then suddenly there are 100's of bikers wheeling by him. He happened to have a helmet cam so the cop pulls him over. Was he part of the group?

Heck I got pulled over for my license plate a couple years ago because the day before some asshat ran from the cops at 150mph and wheelied away from them flipping them off. So I got pulled, then boxed in...........on an SV. They did a big crack down for a similar reason to this. I'm just trying to get to work and have a "sport bike". Guess they don't know it's one of the weakest sport bikes there are.
 

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I don't agree with this at all as far as the biker was concerned. Are you sure he was part of the "mob". He could have been any rider that happened to be out and then suddenly there are 100's of bikers wheeling by him. He happened to have a helmet cam so the cop pulls him over. Was he part of the group?

Heck I got pulled over for my license plate a couple years ago because the day before some asshat ran from the cops at 150mph and wheelied away from them flipping them off. So I got pulled, then boxed in...........on an SV. They did a big crack down for a similar reason to this. I'm just trying to get to work and have a "sport bike". Guess they don't know it's one of the weakest sport bikes there are.
Yes, I am positive he was part of the mob. Again, I repeat: I'm not the arresting officer, I'm not the judge, or a lawyer involved in this case. I can form my own opinion based on what I saw in that video, as well as others from that same area on the same day. If you disagree, you disagree. Obviously, the officer was wrong in what he did, but he wasn't the only one complicit in this incident.

If you don't want to be treated like a thug, don't dress like one, act like one, or associate with them.
 

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I mean he was part of it. In the video, you can see him riding in and amongst them, including one point where two other bikes pass him on both sides in the same lane. I've been riding a long time, and never have I ever intermingled with a group of riders of which I was not a part.

I also saw where he gave some sort of weird two-finger salute to one of the police cars that passed him, and before he even stopped, when being pulled over, he started to give the cop attitude through hand gestures. I really don't think a reasonable person could watch that video and conclude that he wasn't a part of the group.

Like I said, it's my opinion. I do think the cop was wrong, and received a pretty decent punishment. Maybe he should have been more severely disciplined, but I don't think he should have been fired. He will be answering to a civil suit, so that's going to cost him time and money as well.
 

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Huh? He wasn't fired, he was suspended for close to 2 months. Different for sure.
 
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